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Fiduciary Duty & Aiding and Abetting

     Did you know that each of the parties in a divorce proceeding in Colorado owe a fiduciary duty to each other?  That means that they owe a special duty and responsibility to each other to be open, complete and timely in the disclosure of all financial information and the financial condition of each other, including anything that might adversely affect any of the assets such as ill health, debts or lawsuits.

     This special responsibility is very similar to the responsibility that a bank might owe a bank customer to care for that bank customer’s money and other assets.

     The financial disclosure could include, but is not limited to, all retirement funds and statements that the other spouse may not be receiving, and also health conditions that may cause one party to sustain significant debts or has sustained significant debts.

     Information must also be shared if either party or a dependent, such as a minor child, is involved in a lawsuit or an award might be available.

     Also, all business interests, the nature of the business and interests, and all documents relating to the business(es) must be shared.

     There could be other financial interests or other information that falls under this fiduciary duty.  If one spouse’s attorney knows of this information and withholds the information and/or participates in the hiding or refusal to disclose the information as per the Court rules and/or is intentionally untimely to give his/her client the upper hand, and that attorney may be responsible under the concept of aiding and abetting.  This is not unlike aiding and abetting a party committing a criminal offense, but is civil or can even be criminal.  An aider and abetter under criminal law could be just as responsible as the perpetrator of the criminal act.

     A breach of fiduciary duty and the aiding and abetting of the breach of fiduciary duty can result in sanctions against the spouse and/or the spouse’s attorney who are breaching the fiduciary duty by withholding information.  Some of these sanctions could be monetary to be paid by the violating spouse and/or the attorney, contempt of court, etc.  This list is not exhaustive.  It could result in the right to file a separate lawsuit ag

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Parker Office
  • Jeffrey R. Edelman, P.C.
    19201 E. Main Street
    Suite 203
    Parker, Colorado 80134
    Phone: 720-851-8440
    Fax: 720-851-5874
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  • "Going through the Court process is hard enough, but to find a good lawyer is another. Mr.Edelman and his team are a step beyond that. They care and are invested in the client's interests and the outcome. Mr. Edelman's heart felt approach to my emotional situation was more than I could have asked for and how quickly he obtained results was even greater. Mr. Edelman and his staff made me feel like I had a partner in an uncertain time. I will never forget what Mr. Edelman and his staff have done for me and my family and I could have never done it without them. With all of my heart, I thank you."  --Randi L.

  • "Going through a divorce is difficult enough and I do not know what I would have done without Jeff's assistance. At all times, Jeff was professional, understanding and took a heartfelt approach to my situation."  --Phyllis B.

  • "Wow!. I think you guys are superstars. I think I started one of my early replies to you with a Wow!. and it has not changed since that time. You have conducted my business with complete professionalism since we started. And, I am the proud recipient of all your efforts. Sometimes, I had a hard time waiting for the next activity to begin or end, but I knew if I could only be a little bit patient, It would come about, and now it has.I am very lucky to get hooked up with you and I am very appreciative of the fact that the entire business was conducted in a real short time period and I sincerely thank you both for your interest in getting the job done. Thanks again for getting me out of that mess."  --Don (Lubbock, TX)

  • "Jeff Edelman and his staff were so understanding and sympathetic towards my whole family when I was going through such a difficult situation. Jeff and his staff became part of my family and I have kept ties with them after the hard moment in my life. Jeff, "the big guy" as I called him, has advised me and looked out for the best interests of my children and me. Jeff fought for me not only as a client, but as a friend. Jeff and his wonderful team are passionate and just."  --E. Dominguez

  • "Jeff went the extra mile in helping a significantly disabled child obtain the necessary state funded medical care that he needed. Throughout that process, Jeff was compassionate, generous, and was successful."  --E.H

  • "I am a 37 year-experienced Colorado attorney. I have known Jeff Edelman throughout. Unequivocally Jeff is a highly-skilled aggressive and ethical attorney that I would not hesitate to retain should the need ever arise."  --Bill King